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Google Map Markers Terrify Me
August 13, 2011 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone else have a phobia of those Google Maps markers?

Hi. This is embarrassing, which is why I'm posting anonymously. Does anyone have a phobia of the Google maps pins -- and ideas for how I can make sure to never see one again? (Here is an example of the map from hell for me: http://www.mindmyhouse.com/sitters/owner_search/map.php). Helpful for some, horror for me.

I don't know, they just give me the serious heebie jeebies -- for some reason I see them and think plague. Or scabs. Literally, they make me sick. Is there any way I can configure my browser so they'll never turn up -- or otherwise get over this? Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could add maps.google.com to a block list if you're using an ad-blocker. That way Google maps would never load up.
posted by demiurge at 3:26 PM on August 13, 2011


With AdBlock you could specifically put http://maps.gstatic.com/intl/en_us/mapfiles/marker.png in the ban list. Then you can still see Google Maps without those markers being able to load.
posted by msbutah at 3:29 PM on August 13, 2011


That's a good idea. Apparently there are a bunch:
marker.png, shadow50.png
marker_black.png, marker_brown.png, marker_green.png, marker_purple.png, marker_yellow.png,
marker_grey.png (note English spelling), marker_orange.png, marker_white.png
posted by demiurge at 3:32 PM on August 13, 2011


I don't have a phobia of the map markers, but I have a hunch that you may be trypophobic.
posted by Specklet at 3:40 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if you can combine the adblocker solution with a custom Greasemonkey script that would replace those images with something else of your choosing (so gmaps doesn't become unusable for you). I'm not one to know how to do this for you, but my google works ok and here's what I came up with. Yahoo Answers link, so beware. And it looks like you should replace the second instance of 'first image URL' with 'second image URL'.
posted by carsonb at 3:58 PM on August 13, 2011


demiurge: "That's a good idea. Apparently there are a bunch:
marker.png, shadow50.png
marker_black.png, marker_brown.png, marker_green.png, marker_purple.png, marker_yellow.png,
marker_grey.png (note English spelling), marker_orange.png, marker_white.png
"

Adblock Plus supports wildcards, so you could block "*marker*.png" and get all the ones with "marker" in the name.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:22 PM on August 13, 2011


Generally, exposure therapy is very effective against phobias. I am not a professional or expert at this, so please do more research before using this advice.

In general terms, that means one of two things. One method is gradually exposing yourself to whatever frightens you and then using relaxation techniques to calm yourself down, then upping the exposure, and so on until you can tolerate it. For example, you would look at a map with a single marker on it and keep looking at it while using relaxation techniques until it no longer frightens you. Then you would do the same with a map with three markers, and so on. The other way to do it is flooding, which means exposing yourself to the most frightening example of your phobia you can and continuing to expose yourself to it until your panic reaction subsides on its own.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:18 PM on August 13, 2011


Oh and in my experience, avoiding the trigger stimulus does not help and in fact makes the phobia stronger. If it's something you'll need to encounter anyway, I don't recommend avoiding it. I successfully used flooding on myself in order to get over a subway phobia because avoiding it was making it worse and simply never riding the subway was NOT a good option. I basically sat in the subway station for 30 minutes, terrified out of my mind and nearly in tears for the first 15 minutes, but eventually the panic subsided. Now if I ever find myself getting anxious about going on the subway I go do the same thing ASAP, before my brain has time to firmly re-associate subway = panic.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:26 PM on August 13, 2011


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